This wire sculpture is just about the closest we can get to see a chameleon these days.

To the delight of our children, they were fairly common in our garden when we first arrived in the Eastern Cape. We would see them making their way through the shrubs and dense bushes, and watched in fascination as they changed colour or caught an insect with their incredibly long tongues. Their separately mobile eyes were a marvel to observe too.

I like to think of our garden as being environmentally sound: we use no insecticides or even fertilizers; there is an abundance of indigenous trees, shrubs, grasses, and flowers; plenty of natural cover; a ‘wild’ section which is seldom touched; and water is available at a variety of heights. Still, we have not seen a chameleon here for years.

The Eastern Cape Dwarf Chameleons (Bradypodion ventrale) seems to have disappeared, although I am told they are still around – if one knows where to look.


13 thoughts on “CHAMELEONS

  1. I can really relate to this post. In my childhood, our backyard was full of little chirping sparrows. We also got rare birds – some with beautiful colouring. Now, there is hardly any birdsong to be heard in Delhi. I really miss it. It scares me.


    • Your experience illustrates so well how important it is to provide a haven for birds in the best way one can in an urban setting. Large populations of people and their various activities drive all wildlife to the fringes.


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